May 10, 2018
Felix Salmon, Slate – In December 1996, one of Slate’s earliest major projects was the Slate 60 —an index of America’s most generous philanthropists. It was inspired by an interview Ted Turner gave to Maureen Dowd where he explained that his greatest fear, when writing enormous charitable checks, was the effect they might have on his coveted place on the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans. Thus was the concept of “competitive philanthropy” born. By ranking and celebrating Americans’ largest annual gifts, the thinking went, Slate might encourage more of them.